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Merope - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Merope
Well, this was going to be my hp_tarot entry, but I think I'll take a different tack with that (and I'd best hurry up about it, since it's due this week).

This just turned out a smidgen too weird, in terms of format, for a challenge, but I'll post it here anyway.


Now, Tommy, I need you to listen to me... please, no... don't...

I'm sorry, I had to do that. It's not breaking the door. Just holding it. Just a little spell, little--Tommy! You have to listen. That's all I want.

No, please, don't go upstairs. I can't just keep chasing you around the house. Please, just stay. Stay! Impedimenta!

Oh, I'm sorry! I'm really sorry, Tommy, but I had to! You need to listen. I need you to listen. Please... Tommy, please, it's me, your own dear--

Don't look at me like that. I beg you, don't look at me like that. I didn't do... well, it wasn't like that. That's what I need to tell you. It wasn't like that girl at the beach. I didn't mean for anyone to say such things about you. Not ever.

You do remember? The men, all talking about the foolish little trollop who drank so much absinthe that she barely knew what they were doing to her. And they laughed about it. And I just... well, that's not what I did. It's not. You know that, don't you, Tommy? That I would never, ever laugh at you, and I didn't do anything that would make you... well, that you would... Tommy, look at me, please. Mobili... er... I don't know what to move. But look at me.

All right, fine, I'll come around, just stay still.

Look, Tommy, I know what it looks like. That's why I stopped. I knew that, if I just stopped giving you the potion, you'd understand, you'd know what I've given you, that it wasn't like that. Look... I've given you a child! Here, put your hand on him. Can you feel him moving? I--

Oh, Tommy, no, don't pull away! Please! It's not the baby's fault, and he loves it when you touch him. He...

Tommy? Don't you dare take your hand from your child! Petrificus manus!

There, you see? Isn't it nice? Can you feel the way he moves toward you?

There, now. Let me explain things. You know I haven't hurt you. I've given you everything, everything I have. I haven't violated you.

I knew, all of those times I saw you going by the house with one silly girl after another. I knew I could give you what they couldn't. I could open the door to a new world, a world they don't even dream of. You don't know how much I risked. I could have lost everything, but I wanted all of this to be for you. All of it, Tommy! You're inside now. Inside the real truth of the thing. Do you know what that means?

Sorry... you can move your hand now. Finite incantatem. I just have to move a bit. I'm sorry. My father always said I was a fool. "Can't you even look in my face, girl?" I suppose he was right. I am a fool, but nothing more. I just helped you along toward what was best for you. It wasn't like that girl at all. Those men were only interested in what they could take from her, but that's not what I did. I did it to give to you. That makes it all different, and you'll see. This baby will be wonderful. You'll see that.

No, don't! Please let me finish! You're not listening! Stay! Imperio!

Oh, dear. I'd best hurry. The Ministry could have caught that one.

Just let me tell you my side. You can judge. I know you'll understand. I know you'll be fair.

I've never been able to talk to anyone else. You've always listened to me, and I know it wasn't just the potion. You're truly a good, honest man and--

Oh, I'm not going in the right direction here.

I never had anyone, Tom. My brother, my father... they never cared for me, not like you have, not like I saw you care for those other girls, buying the flowers and suchlike. I was just there, and I was to cook for them. They were crude and nothing like you. I didn't want to be like them. I knew you would understand that, because I saw you almost every day, and you always so wonderful, and you laughed. Do you know what it meant to hear someone laughing in that godforsaken place?

I know you haven't laughed much lately, but you will again, if you only give me a chance to make you happy. I can, Tom. I really can. You know it. You know I can make you feel things that other girls can't. Here, touch me, Tommy. You know I can make you happy.

That's right.

The potion--it was just to help you along. I didn't give it to you to make you do something you would regret. It wasn't at all like that girl. You understand that, don't you? I talked to her at the party and she was crying about being ruined and having some sort of sickness and about everyone laughing at her. I would never want that for you. I didn't do that to you.

You have to understand that Muggles--well, you don't always know what's best for you. You might not think to look in places that would be real assets. My father said that Muggles are a bit blind, but I didn't want you to be blind anymore. I wanted you to be able to see. That's all. So I gave you... medicine. That's all it was, Tom. Just some medicine to help you see the world. I found the way to brew it in an old book of my mother's that she'd hidden under the floorboards. I--

Tommy!

At least let me argue my side! Can't you at least be that fair to me? After everything I've given you?

All right, then. I'm going to put my wand down. Just let me... Finite incantatem totalis. There. It's all gone. Just you and me, no magic. I won't do it anymore, I promise. Now that you understand, I don't need to. I know you'll be fair to me, and the baby. That you'll judge us honestly and--

What are you doing?

Tom, let go! You're hurting my arms! I don't want to go out in the entranceway, I don't--

Tom, NO! I can't go outside, it's pouring, and it's cold! Tommy, stop it, please, I know you're angry at me, but we can fix it. We can talk. You know I didn't hurt you and,

Tommy, no, please, don't shut me--

--out.
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Comments
redbrunja From: redbrunja Date: February 10th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is nice and twisted. I almost feel sorry for her, but she dug her own grave in so many ways, I really can't.

This is so good, it'd post it to the challange, even if the format is nontraditional- I'm seen fics much more out there.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 10th, 2007 10:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it might be too late, since I've already posted it publicly. Thanks, though!
redbrunja From: redbrunja Date: February 11th, 2007 04:50 am (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome!
harriet_wimsey From: harriet_wimsey Date: February 10th, 2007 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, wow, that's amazing! It's obvious that Merope is very wrong, but it's also obvious that she's twisted enough that she's justified everything to herself and really believes Tom will understand. Poor Tom Jr., with that for a heritage.
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: February 10th, 2007 07:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really like the way you're written this, just with her dialogue and not with anything else. It's almost as if she's gone mad...which I suppose she has. Her feelings change so abruptly, it's like she's schizophrenic or something. I wouldn't be surprised. But this is very good and very interesting. I look looking into characters' minds.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 10th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi Fern:

I agree with the 1st post. I think the folks at hp tarot will like it even if the format is different.

The way you show Merope trying to talk "Tommy" into that this was what was best for him...almost like a parent who justifies things saying because I say so. I like how you showed her families bias in how she felt about "muggles" in general. How she was giving him a gift by kidnapping and drugging him. I almost feel bad for her. I also like the one sided rhythm of this. It is almost like we are inside her head...kinda scary. This also shows how her state of mind could have developed and why she ended giving up totally. It was as if she was shocked by Tom's reaction. Hard to believe that she thought everything would be O.K. after all she did and this gives us a good window into how things might have gone down.

Katsulas
kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: February 10th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that's very good! I love the jarring nature of the format. It made me feel unbalanced all through it.

It should be an uncomfortable experience to be in the head of someone like Merope, and it is.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: February 10th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm joining in on not seeing the format as a problem for a challenge, unless the challenge included something about format....

I didn't do... well, it wasn't like that. That's what I need to tell you. It wasn't like that girl at the beach.

Interesting choice, to have her stopping the potion because she's talked to this girl who was raped while drunk on absinthe. She's trying to convince him, throughout the story, but she's trying to convince herself too, because it seems she only half believes she was right anymore, or at least she can see why he wouldn't think so. (And I wonder -- if Tom was taking her to parties -- what kind of appearance Merope had there, whether she was cleaned up and dressed up and still looked just a little strange and out of place, and whether that had anything to do with "that girl at the beach" coming to talk to her.

...And I just wondered, if he hangs out with guys who do that, if those were the kinds of friends he'd pick out normally (I don't know), whether Tom had ever done the same as well.

And then her calling it medicine -- I think that's one of the best-chosen bits of the story of all.

And the end is chilling. Even with all she's done, I can almost feel the rain sliding.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: February 10th, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
what kind of appearance Merope had there, whether she was cleaned up and dressed up and still looked just a little strange and out of place, and whether that had anything to do with "that girl at the beach" coming to talk to her.
That's one of the things that didn't quite work in this format for me--I know that she was worried sick about the party, that she ultimately opted for a kind of "ignore me" charm so that she wouldn't have to worry about dosing everyone who happened to walk in, but Tom wouldn't be hit by the dissonance of people saying, "That's the girl you've been mad about for months?" But there was no way to get that information in with this format.
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: February 11th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Mm. See, I only thought about it in context of what got the girl to talk to her. And once I thought about it, I figured that she probably managed to get wardrobe and grooming advice from Tom (okay, so the potion may make him think she's gorgeous no matter what, but she could probably still get some fashion information) but still ended up being a little on the wallflowerish side somehow.
eir_de_scania From: eir_de_scania Date: February 10th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very chilling - and so very good! Yes, Merope probably did think she wasn't really doing anything wrong.
mafdet From: mafdet Date: February 11th, 2007 12:39 am (UTC) (Link)
If it's wrong for the challenge for whatever reason, post it at the Quill or someplace. It's a great fic. It's a very chilling look at just how twisted and not-all-there Merope really was.
shiiki From: shiiki Date: February 11th, 2007 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Dear, dear ... poor Merope. She's really led a sad, twisted life, hasn't she? It's interesting to see how her upbringing has seeped into her mind - she's still prejudiced against Muggles, although in a milder version. And the way Dark magic just slipped out of her. You brought across the effect of a woman who's not quite sane - okay, very deluded, actually, and it's easy to see why Tom Sr would have been horrified by her.

Good job!
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: February 11th, 2007 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Fernfic. What a wonderful way to end the day.

Thanks for posting this. Twisted, weird, perfect.
gryffin23 From: gryffin23 Date: February 11th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your writing never fails. I especially enjoyed the sly hints of her own ingrained ideas about Muggles. I feel sorry for both of them.
matril From: matril Date: February 12th, 2007 01:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is perfect. Poor, screwed-up Merope. I think the rambling monologue format fits very well for what's going on.
rubymiene From: rubymiene Date: February 19th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
This and your actual tarot entry are really similar in style, but they complement each other really well. It's great to see how warped Merope is. I think the final entry was more 'justice'-themed though.
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